Slowly, Antigua Yacht Club Marina began to fill with beautiful wooden classics and Panerai flags in preparation for the 2016 Regatta. The event was to feature light winds, sun burnt faces and a week-long closing party, marking the end of the Caribbean sailing season for those concerned with classic lines.
While most yachts remained alongside the dock for the Concours d’Elegance, 11 yachts headed out of English Harbour to compete in the 17th edition of the Single Handed Race. Recently awarded 2016 Classic Boat Yachtsman of the Year, Leo Goolden was relieved of his duties onboard schooner ‘Adix’, giving him a chance to take his 1947 Folkboat ‘Lorema’, out for a spin. Sailing himself into first place in the Small Classic Yacht Class with a beer in hand and music playing, I had the good fortune of enjoying Lorema’s first race of the year with Leo – as you’ll see in the film!
Antigua Classics was to be the christening for another special yacht this year. Another of Alwyn Enoe's newly built Carriacou sloops joined the fleet to compete at the classics. ‘Free’ of St Barths put on a great show, sailing fantastically despite a penalty on the third day, she achieved third place overall, underneath her sisters Zemi and Genesis. ‘Free’s debut was beautifully partnered with the screening of Alexis Andrews film, 'Vanishing Sail' which proved to be quite a tear jerker to watch, it provoked a lot of laughter, eventually leaving all of us in awe of these boats. Look out for shots taken from onboard ‘Free’ in the film.
Amongst all the yachts that competed this year, there was one yacht in particular that stood out… With three new carbon fibre masts looming above the rest, it was hard to miss the 213ft schooner, ‘Adix’. Despite it being far from Schooner weather, Adix managed to take 1st place in Classic A from the 121ft Strawlinski cutter, Alexa of London. For some the light winds were welcomed, as Mat Barker owner of ‘The Blue Peter’ remarked “It has been really nice to have a regatta, where you’re not holding on – hoping that nothing is going to break. The light air has meant there has been a lot more skill involved, which is why we did so well, naturally!”
Next year marks the 30th Anniversary for the event.